July 4, 2009: Anchor Liberty and Independence Day
Liberty is a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has the right to act according to his or her own will. (Wikipedia)
Independence is the self-government of a nation, country, or state by its residents and population, or some portion thereof, generally exercising sovereignty. (Wikipedia)
lib⋅er⋅ty /ˈlɪbərti/ [lib-er-tee]
–noun, plural -ties. 1. freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control. 2. freedom from external or foreign rule; independence. 3. freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice. 4. freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint . . . 5. permission granted to a sailor, esp. in the navy, to go ashore. 6. freedom or right to frequent or use a place . . . 7. unwarranted or impertinent freedom in action or speech, or a form or instance of it: to take liberties. 8. a female figure personifying freedom from despotism.
—Idiom, 9. at liberty, a. free from captivity or restraint. b. unemployed; out of work. c. free to do or be as specified: You are at liberty to leave at any time during the meeting. (Dictionary.com)
In`de*pend"ence\, n. [Cf. F. ind['e]pendance.]
1. The state or quality of being independent; freedom from dependence; exemption from reliance on, or control by, others; self-subsistence or maintenance; direction of one's own affairs without interference. . . 2. Sufficient means for a comfortable livelihood. Declaration of Independence (Amer. Hist.), the declaration of the Congress of the Thirteen United States of America, on the 4th of July, 1776, by which they formally declared that these colonies were free and independent States, not subject to the government of Great Britain. (Dictionary.com)
Most would agree that Independence Day is the most important day in American History. It is the day that marks the beginning of this great country’s independence, and reminds us all of the liberty and sacrifice that was taken to make it possible. What is the official adult beverage for celebrating this most important holiday? . . . Beer. Do not think so? Then why are all of these coolers filled with beer? What about these kegs? I can assure you that these kegs are not filled with wine or spirits. Now, I am not claiming to have seen the official memo, and you would probably agree that you haven’t either, but somehow . . . we all received the message. Beer is the official adult beverage to imbibe when celebrating your American Independence. It’s only fitting. This country was founded on beer. With quotes like, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." -Benjamin Franklin, and, “Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.” –Thomas Jefferson, it would seem that at least two of the Founding Fathers of this country were drinking beer when they came up with this whole liberty and independence thing. And, in all honesty, I doubt that George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Paine, and Alexander Hamilton took the liberty to sit across the table from these two with EMPTY mugs.
So, what better beer to discuss over this holiday then Anchor Liberty Ale? After all, Anchor Brewing Company is the small, independent brewery that took the liberty to brew Anchor Liberty Ale in the first place. San Francisco’s famous Liberty Ale was first brewed on the 18th of April, 1975 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s historic ride. Before Anchor Liberty Ale became a permanent year-round product, variations of the Liberty Ale formula enjoyed brief tenures as a seasonal release available at Christmastime.
Man . . . All of this talk about liberty and independence is starting to make me thirsty. Let us take the liberty to pour some Liberty into a glass.
Anchor Liberty Ale, 6% ABV:
The beer has a nice copper color and an off-white colored head. The head, a quarter inch thick, covers the top of the beer completely, while CO2 bubbles steadily stream to feed its existence. This head shows no signs of dissipating any time soon. Fruity esters and earthy hop aroma are in the forefront of the nose with a nice, light, bready malt characteristic in the background. The mouthfeel is lively and the flavor is hop forward. Wonderful, earthy bitterness leads way to a beautifully delicate malt slick that coats the mouth evenly. The malt flavor never fully replaces the hops, rather the hops beg the malt to continue their dance . . . the two dance in harmony together for quite some time, and eventually, the malt exits the stage leaving the hops to take their bow and finish this act. This is the first Anchor Liberty Ale that I have quaffed in years, and if this review is any indication, I feel liberated to say the least. Why has it been so long? I never meant to ignore you. This most traditional brewery and pale ale serves as a wonderful reminder of how in a society like ours, the next bright and shiny beer that comes along tends to cloud our vision of beers and days gone by. One should never forget how we got to this point in time, and how without Anchor Liberty and Independence, we may have never arrived here at all. Anchor Liberty Ale was first brewed in 1975 to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of Paul Revere's famous ride. With this beer, Anchor may very well have created the genre of American Strong Pale Ale, and their Liberty Ale has certainly stood the test of time.
Keep your history close to heart. It is, after all, a very young one. Support the people that fight to maintain your liberty and independence. Otherwise, you might one day find yourself drinking Yangjing.